Holiday Inn & Suites set to open in Dubai Science Park in Q4 2022
Zaha Hadid Architects and Leigh & Orange Limited unveil the new design for a Student Residence Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Zaha Hadid Architects and Leigh & Orange Limited unveil the new design for a Student Residence Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Zaha Hadid Architects and Leigh & Orange Limited unveil the new design for a Student Residence Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and Leigh & Orange Limited (L&O) unveil the new design for a Student Residence Development at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Established in 1991, HKUST has become a leading research institution, consistently ranked amongst the best in Asia and around the globe. HKUST is also one of the world’s fastest growing universities. Over half of the university’s 16,000 students enrolled in the 2019-2020 academic year are from overseas, creating an urgent demand for new residential facilities within its Clear Water Bay campus.

Planned for completion in 2023, the university’s new halls of residence designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in collaboration with Leigh & Orange will house over 1,500 students. Marrying advanced digital design technologies with sustainable construction practices and operational strategies for its 50-year life cycle, the design is guided by the university’s mission to harness technology and innovation to solve today’s critical global issues.

Located at the Southeast of the HKUST campus, the new halls of residence are embedded within a steeply sloping site of approximately 25m of level difference. The building’s roof line has been designed as its primary circulation and incorporates shaded outdoor areas for students and staff to rest and gather together, helping to build a stronger cross-campus culture. This rooftop walkway creates a new connection between the academic blocks of the north campus and the primarily residential blocks of the south, eliminating the need for students and staff to circumnavigate the hilly terrain.

Digital design tools allowing simultaneous considerations of numerous site parameters including terrain levels, solar radiation, sightlines and soil conditions have defined the design’s optimal configuration and orientation; while the digital encoding of its internal spaces enabled layout tests to optimize functionality and adaptability, as well as accurate calculation of natural light levels.

The halls of residence are organized in a hexagonal configuration creating four courtyards terraced into the steeply sloping site. With all rooms facing open spaces, the approximately 35,500 sq.m of accommodation includes communal areas for living, learning, recreation and leisure. The courtyards are designed to be quieter spaces for rest and relaxation, while the surrounding hillside will be replanted to prevent soil erosion with zones for exercise and social activities.

The residences are arranged in three differing ‘clusters’ that combine communal living spaces with a varying number of single or double occupancy bedrooms, enabling between 18 to 36 students to share one apartment as a single self-contained ‘household’ that encourages a sense of ownership and cohesion.

 

 

 

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JLL implemented Activity Based Working (ABW) concept for Bayer’s new workspace in Dubai Science Park

JLL implemented Activity Based Working (ABW) concept for Bayer's new workspace in Dubai Science Park


JLL implemented Activity Based Working (ABW) concept for Bayer’s new workspace in Dubai Science Park

Bayer, an innovative life-sciences company, has officially inaugurated its brand-new state-of-the-art facility as its regional quarters, Bayer Middle East, located in Dubai Science Park. The new workplace not only reaffirms the life science company’s commitment to Dubai as a regional hub for cultivating innovation, but to its employees to mirror the collaborative and innovative culture encouraged at Bayer. The project commenced in November 2019, and was designed by specialized workplace strategists and interior design entity, JLL.

Henrik Wulff, Senior Bayer Representative – Middle East and Head of Bayer Pharmaceuticals Middle East, commented: “While businesses advance every day and new technologies are constantly introduced across all industries, new needs arise – so we decided we needed a new space that creates a warm and welcoming experience for guests and employees alike. We envisioned an environment that fosters team creativity, collaboration, technology-use and optimism, so the ABW concept seemed like the perfect fit. Although the spread of the novel coronavirus led to new challenges, we were confident in JLL because of their known ability to study the holistic environment and concurrent relevant updates prior to starting their projects. Our main concern was to provide a safe and healthy environment based on safety precautions and guidelines, and JLL truly delivered in terms of safety and aesthetic.”

Well-versed on the importance of providing collaborative and agile working spaces, Bayer was enthusiastic to implement the Activity Based Working (ABW) concept, as well as workplace that better supported their working style. This approach uses non-assigned workstations and multiple areas for various activities to foster employee collaboration, learning, focussed work, and socialising. This underlying conceptual ABW approach aims to set new standards regarding workplace organization. The contemporary office design is based on a holistic approach, aiming to utilize space in a way to foster engagement, encourage collaboration, and inspire innovation.

The layout, a total of 1,536sqm divided into two floors, was designed based on neighborhoods or zones to equally provide support and collaborative spaces for all staff members, regardless of the location, facilitating their own choice to select where, when and how they shall work. Global company guidelines were weaved in throughout to invoke a strong sense of pride and community. The architectural details created in this project enhance transparency, light and patterns. In addition to design, JLL provided change management services to support Bayer with the cultural transformation in adapting to the new environment and new ways of working.

Sara Afkir, Workplace Strategist and Designer from JLL commented: “As a team, we welcomed Bayer’s brief and were enthusatic to work with a visionary client willing and wanting to move away from traditional ways of working. Bayer’s CRE team were an integral part of the design process and this effort became a collaborative journey for all of us. The architectural language created for Bayer’s new home embraces and highlights the company’s brand and values. The design experience pays homage to the local culture with a modern and urban twist; the outcome is a warm, welcoming, inspirational, and agile environment. As designers, our team is proud of the wellness and ergonomics features of the new office, putting the staff’s needs as a top design driver. The multi-level office becomes a multifunctional and versatile space, where each area can cater to numerous functions and encourages the team to adapt and change. In today’s diverse workplace, as designers, we must aspire to create environments to foster growth, encourage choice and empower the users”

The technology-driven workplace encompasses a variety of ergonomic tools and pleasing aesthetics for employees such as light woods to bring warmth into the space, concrete faux finishes to bring rawness and create an industrial look and feel, acoustic finishes to enhance acoustic performance and writable surfaces in all small meeting and think tank rooms for brainstorming and creative engagements. Lastly, an important element was biophilia – creating a string connection between the outdoors and indoors. The flexibility in the design, flow, growth and modularity will allow for staff to move within the space based on their daily activities and makes for a very flexible and inspirational environment.

 

Zayed Centre for Research in London by Stanton Williams is a new urban beacon of science and design

Zayed Centre for Research in London by Stanton Williams is a new urban beacon of science and design


Zayed Centre for Research in London by Stanton Williams is a new urban beacon of science and design

Dedicated to delivering world class research together with new treatments and therapies, the Zayed Centre for Research by award-winning architectural practice Stanton Williams into Rare Disease in Children for Great Ormond Street Hospital Foundation Trust, University College London and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the world’s first purpose-built centre dedicated to paediatric research into rare diseases.

The public-facing research facility in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter is conceived as a holistic space where science, city and human lives come together. Inside, the Zayed Centre for Research is organised around two connected ‘hearts’, an outpatient zone and a research zone, each planned as layered volumes around a daylit atrium. Across eight storeys the building provides academic research workspace, seminar and meeting spaces, specialist laboratories, and outpatient clinics for children and young people.

With its prominent presence next to Coram’s Fields – the former site of the Foundling Hospital and a living symbol of children’s welfare for over 250 years – the Zayed Centre for Research is a new urban beacon of science and healthcare.

Gavin Henderson, principal director at Stanton Williams, said: “The opportunity to work with Great Ormond Street Hospital, UCL and GOSH Charity to make a building that was about science and medical care in the heart of the city on such a public and symbolic site opposite Coram’s Fields seemed very powerful. We felt very strongly that we wanted to give public visibility to science and allow people in the public realm to understand what the building was about and give a sense of the life-changing activities taking place inside.”

At the base of the building is a 600sqm double-height principal laboratory, visible from all sides within the Zayed Centre for Research as well as from the street outside. A shared single entrance bridge, which passes above these laboratories, welcomes both research staff and patients, drawing them into a central atrium, flooded with light. A transparent ground floor gives visibility and prominence to the activities inside the laboratories, while carefully articulated terracotta fins and glazing address Coram’s Fields and reflect the changing sky – expressing the civic significance of this ground-breaking institution.

A sense of openness and generosity dissolves the ‘clinical experience’ within. Encounters with ‘non-clinical’ surfaces, such as exposed concrete and European oak, create a calm and dignified environment for young patients and their families as they address their health issues: an environment shared with clinicians and researchers in the endeavour to understand and overcome the impact of life-changing diseases.

Designed to high energy efficiency standards, the Zayed Centre for Research has achieved BREEAM Excellent certification and is intended to produce 35% less carbon emissions than required under the Building Regulations.

Images: Stanton Williams

Brand Creative’s Ixora retail project is a delicate balance of history, nature, and science

Brand Creative's Ixora retail project is a delicate balance of history, nature, and science


Brand Creative’s Ixora retail project is a delicate balance of history, nature, and science

Boutique firm Brand Creative delivered the retail project Ixora recently. Ixora is a certified organic skincare brand and is brainchild of Dr Nader Sheasha, a pharmacist specialising in herbal medicine.

The firm was appointed to develop the brand strategy, brand identity, packaging, staff uniforms, social media strategy, photographic art direction and interiors.  Wanting to turn heads with a new approach to selling organic products, he requested an elegant and moody aesthetic with dramatic ceiling details, a feature wall composed of one of the key product ingredients and a trial area suitable for social media opportunities.  Other requests included a VIP lounge that serves herbal teas and fruit infused water alongside a demo room where product education and private skin and hair analysis sessions could occur.

Keeping the experience seamless and premium meant rethinking the point of sale area so that all forms of technology and clutter were cleverly hidden within joinery designs.  Integrating LED screens with meaningful video content was a key requirement for the educational component.  Screens are kept at eye level within product shelving to serve as useful points of information on ingredient origins, benefits and application techniques.  An overall sustainable approach to each and every design aspect was above all else key to the success of the project keeping in mind the client’s objective that a LEED classification would be required once the brand hits the international scene.

The Ixora retail experience is a modern exploration of ancient civilisations through the eyes of nature and science.  The 2000sqft boutique, located in Dubai Festival City, is inspired by the juxtaposition of natural materials and deconstructed architectural forms and agricultural methods from three historical periods – Mesopotamian, Roman, and Egyptian. From Mesopotamia – the concepts of agriculture and irrigation were explored.  To start the journey, we explored the brand’s namesake by extruding Ixora flower petals that adorn the storefront sidewall and continue onto the ceiling in a river like formation. The epoxy flooring features a custom abstracted petal design, also inspired by the Ixora flower, and leads customers through the retail journey in a similar flowing manner.

All joinery works utilised Arreis – a sustainable fibreboard (no added formaldehyde, recycled FSC wood fibre content) – one of the few brands available through a local supplier (reducing carbon footprint).  Locally sourced live edge wood was used for the floor display nesting tables.  Brand Creative worked closely with a lighting consultant specialising in the use of retail specific LEDs – proven to conserve energy. The lighting was not only efficient but also strategically placed with a suspended track system to reduce glare and lend a theatrical contrast to the merchandise.

 

 

 

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